AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances’ Acquisition

In UK Clifford Chance, advised on the matter.

Clifford Chance advised AXA Investment Managers, Crédit Agricole Assurances with a team including David Metzger (Corporate M&A), Toby Parkinson (Corporate M&A), John Wilkins (Picture – Energy & Infrastructures), Nigel Howorth (Real Estate), Alis Pay (Real Estate).

AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances acquired a 50% stake in the 1.3 GW Hornsea Two offshore wind farm in the UK. Hornsea Two, currently under construction, will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm once commissioned later in 2022. The total value of the transaction is £3 billion, and the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022 once the wind farm is fully commissioned and customary regulatory approvals are obtained.

The consortium’s 50 percent stake in Hornsea Two will be funded through a combination of equity and a senior multi-tranche staple financing package provided by 30 banks and including a covered tranche guaranteed by EKF, Denmark’s export credit agency.

Spanning an offshore area of 462 km², Hornsea Two is located 89 km off the Yorkshire coast in the Hornsea zone, one of the world’s largest offshore wind development areas. With a capacity of 1.3 GW, Hornsea Two will provide enough green electricity to power the equivalent of more than 1.3 million homes annually. Hornsea Two is a key project supporting the UK government’s objective of achieving 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

The multidisciplinary team was led by a joint team of the firm’s Energy and Infrastructure and Corporate practices, comprising partners John Wilkins (PIcture), Toby Parkinson and Charlotte Madden, senior associates Joseph Woodworth and Eleanor Evans and associates Tom Dopstadt, Caitlin Hagart and Priya Shah. Specialist construction expertise was provided by David Metzger (partner), Leonhard Rudolph and Irina Steinberg (both senior associates) whilst real estate expertise was provided by Alis Pay (partner), Amina Tacconi (senior associate) and Marija Stavric (associate) and environmental and planning expertise was provided by Nigel Howorth (partner), Anneke Theelen and Kirsty Souter (both senior associates). Antitrust and foreign investment advice was provided by Jennifer Storey (partner) and Sophie Halls (associate). Jemma Dick and Simon Corzberg (both directors) advised on tax-related matters.

Involved fees earner: Simon Corzberg – Clifford Chance; Jemma Dick – Clifford Chance; Tom Dopstadt – Clifford Chance; Eleanor Evans – Clifford Chance; Caitlin Hagart – Clifford Chance; Sophie Halls – Clifford Chance; Nigel Howorth – Clifford Chance; David Metzger – Clifford Chance; Toby Parkinson – Clifford Chance; Alis Pay – Clifford Chance; Leonhard Rudolph – Clifford Chance; Priya Shah – Clifford Chance; Kirsty Souter – Clifford Chance; Marija Stavric – Clifford Chance; Irina Steinberg – Clifford Chance; Jennifer Storey – Clifford Chance; Amina Tacconi – Clifford Chance; Anneke Theelen – Clifford Chance; John Wilkins – Clifford Chance; Joseph Woodworth – Clifford Chance;

Law Firms: Clifford Chance;

Clients: AXA Investment Managers; Crédit Agricole Assurances;

Author: Giulia Di Palma